Your dissertation has been handed in, your final exams are over and the last few nights of celebration have been a blur of exhaustion, emotion and booze.
All that’s left to do is throw your mortarboard in the air on graduation day and get a job.
Real life hits like Carl Frampton in the first round.
The well prepared graduates out there will already have jobs lined up – hopefully for September so they can spend another couple of months wearing hemp clothing and getting discounts in the pub – but most will be starting the ominous process of looking for their first real job.
But how do you go about it? How do you find the ideal job which will lay the foundations for the rest of your career?
The first piece of advice is not to overthink it.
It’s important to be choosy, yes, because your first job will give you experience in an area which will make it easier to get your next job; but at the same time you’re unlikely to stay in the same job for the rest of your life so don’t ignore a role which doesn’t tick your ideal checklist.
A couple of years’ experience in a job which might not be right up your street is worth a lot more than months doing nothing.
And make sure you have enough practical experience.
Not only will it make you more employable, it will give you a taste of different jobs without actually having to commit to them.
It’s a fine line because you don’t want to get caught in the trap of endless paid internships but at the same time you need some experience before you can get a job and internships are a great way of doing that.
And you shouldn’t overthink your CV either.
You can spend days reworking your achievements to look even more amazing than they probably aren’t but, the truth is, everyone’s idea of a perfect CV is different.
Yes, slant it at the industry you’re trying to get into to highlight any experience you have in that sector (this importance of this can’t be overlooked) but obey the standard rules of not over exaggerating (or worse, lying) keep it brief, concise and to the point and spend a bit more time worrying about how your online profile looks.
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter.
If you were looking at a pile of CVs and you came across one you liked, the first thing you would do is check their social media profile.
So make sure a potential recruiter doesn’t have to look at photos of you downing shots of Sambuca on the floor of a dancefloor at 3am or picking your spilled kebab off the pavement just before you’re sick into your friend’s handbag.
Maybe it’s labouring the point but really, that’s not going to make a good impression and all you have to do to avoid it is to tighten your privacy settings.
Do it now before you forget.
And make sure your LinkedIn profile shines because that’s your corporate window to the world and would be the second place where a recruiter will check you out, as it were.
Also, talk to professional recruitment companies.
They get paid to place people in jobs and will most likely have specialist graduate divisions which will have access to the raft of positions out there.
Talk to them and work any connections you might have, whether that’s on social media or through your great aunt’s postman’s next door neighbour (I hear they work for NASA).
Let people know you’re looking for a job and you will be surprised who knows who.
Finally, show enthusiasm.
Anyone can get a degree and experience but when it comes to picking a candidate to fill a role there can be little substitute for a huge dose of enthusiasm for the job and for the company.
Act like a disinterested teenager and you’ll a long time in the job hunting game.
So go now, quick! Get out there and land your first job now!